|Updated: 21-Nov-2002||NATO Speeches|
21 Nov. 2002
by the Honorable Rudolf Schuster, President of the Slovak Republic
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen,
please allow me, on behalf of the Slovak Republic and on my own behalf,
to express our most profound appreciation for the trust and confidence
bestowed upon us by your decision. Your trust is a commitment to us. However,
if enlargement is to mean a stronger alliance and bring more security
for all of us, it is imperative that we remain relentless in our effort
to improve our capability of contributing to both, the traditional and
the new role of the alliance.
Therefore in our understanding the invitation is not the ultimate goal.
We rather see it as a challenge to the continuity of the process we embarked
We, of course, do understand that the invitation inevitably is a challenge
for us to continue the reform of our armed forces and we are ready to
expedite this reform with the view of helping the Alliance in building
As the commander-in-chief of our armed forces I will see to it that Slovakia
remains a functional and reliable ally in our fight with the challenges
of the present day. We are capable and ready to assist with our particular
Developing cooperation with partner countries and pursuing an open-door
policy remains an integral part of reinforcing security and stability
both, in the European and in the Trans-Atlantic area.
Mr. Secretary General, Dear Friends,
today, we took an important step toward our common vision of a Europe
whole and free, one step toward reinvigorating the security of all of
us. Slovakia feels its share of responsibility for the success of this
process. Let me assure you that this responsibility will be the driving
force behind all our efforts.
Thank you for your attention